Clegg, Barbara


2 out of 5

(1 book)

Doctor Who: Enlightenment

The novelisation of Clegg's own original script for an adventure featuring the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and his companions Tegan and Turlough.  Caught amid the struggle between the White and Black Guardians, the TARDIS materialises aboard an Edwardian racing yacht.  However, the Doctor and his companions soon discover that the ship, and other like it, are actually travelling through space as part of a race to win Enlightenment.

Having not seen the TV episode, I can only imagine how ridiculous the sailing-ships-going-through-space element looked in early 80s television effects, but I can say categorically that, even with the power of the readers imagination, it's no-less silly in this book.  At no point is there sufficient justification for this being the backdrop to the story and it's handled without flair or intrigue.

The overall plot isn't any better either.  It's as if the writer came up with the gimmick of sailing ships in space and then they had to try an bodge together a story around that.  The Eternals are completely unengaging as antagonists and the Guardians' actions are arbitrary and lack credibility.  Tegan has never been a companion I liked, lacking much in the way of depth or complexity, and Turlough's conscience-wrestling is also handled fairly shallowly.

Really, the only vaguely redeeming feature in this book at all is the Doctor himself, who does manage a couple of triumphant moments of characteristic brilliance.

2 out of 5


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